Fiverr Community Forum

Buyers conning sellers to work for free :(

Ok so this is a bit of a rant but at the same time hope it improves the Fiverr platform if something gets done about it.

Something I have noticed recently is that some buyers on here will enquire about your gig, say they like your samples and place an order for something made in a very similar style to those samples on your gig page.

As soon as you deliver the work they request a modification (which is strange because you’ve made them exactly what they asked for) They then say they want the work changed in some way so you agree to do one FREE revision (even though this wasn’t included in the tiny gig price you initially quoted them). Anyway you carry on working to make the buyer happy only to deliver the requested changes and then they click the “open dispute” button on the order and leave a note like “just wasn’t what I had in mind”.

It seems buyers know they can do this, get their money back and you are the one who has just worked (potentially for days) for free. It seems sooo unfair and is a major flaw in the Fiverr platform, sellers are not protected!! Obviously you can “decline” the cancellation of the order but what’s the point… you know they’re just going to give you a 1 star review on a gig that has all 5 star reviews so will impact your future sales.

I’ve just found out this particular guy who said who has pulled the trick on me has since used my work in a YouTube video… so he clearly did like the work produced, he just wanted the work for free by pretending “it wasn’t what he had in mind” :frowning:


This is when you tell that buyer – politely, but firmly – “that is what you ordered. I can only deliver what you ordered. If you need additional work, I would be happy to complete it for an additional price”. Then refuse to accept their refund demands. Buyers do NOT deserve refunds. And Fiverr does not support refunds based on personal preference, if the work was delivered according to the sellers gig description/terms.

Just say “no”, and let your no be no. Bad buyers cannot get away with scams if sellers stand strong and refuse to give in to them. If you did the work, and you did the work well, you deserve to get paid. End of story.

So what? You get a 1-star review. Why are you living in fear of a bad review from a bad buyer? Take the 1-star review, post your review of them (which other sellers will soon be able to see), block them from ever purchasing from you again, and move on. Bad reviews will only affect your ratings for 60 days.

Stand up for yourself! No one can take advantage of you if you don’t let them!


So say I gave him a 1 star review back, what’s that going to solve? The buyer wont care about it. I know that as a seller if a buyer ordered from me who had all terrible reviews I still wouldn’t refuse to work for them.

I think the whole rating the buyer back thing that Fiverr has introduced is pointless. I would rather lose out on $20 and let the buyer cancel the order than take his money and suffer less sales because of his unfair review.

You say bad reviews only affect your ratings for 60 days but that’s a long time and have seen a huge drop in sales because of one bad review in the past.


It is - also they may only affect your stats for 60 days for promotion etc., but they permanently affect the stars on your profile and on your individual gig.

Agree. :slightly_smiling_face:


He can’t use the work if the order is cancelled, as you retain the copyright of your work. You can open a claim in YouTube, and you can easily prove you are the author and the user don’t have a written license to use your work, so you are the legal copyright owner.


I am noticing this too. This is why with every order like this, I am noting down everything from the company using whatever material I produce, to whatever I can dig up on the buyer. (Many are re-sellers with their pretend SEO/Marketing firms).

I refuse any such cancellation request. I also warn other sellers about the buyers tactics in my review. If an order is cancelled, I then report non-payment issues to end users of delivered material and request immediate removal of material. This tactic exposes re-sellers to their end clients and implodes their wider reputation.


there are many others ways to let down a seller by a buyer so i think “No” is not just enough. we sellers have nothing but to satisfy a buyer with all there nonsense demands or put our head in ground by accepting there order cancellation.:unamused:


I have done exactly that. He will get a copyright strike from YouTube hopefully.


You could also expose your buyer on Reddit and other social media channels, and provide a link to their Youtube vid. Then watch as a comment kiss of destruction wrecks their Youtube career. :wink:


I would get my bad review. Do not cancel. I see that Fiverr likes to screw us sellers. so I’m thinking of going to plan B


The problem of dishonest buyers demanding refunds after they get the seller’s work is only going to continue to get worse under this policy fiverr has of refusing to step in and insist buyers pay for what they get.

It must be published somewhere that you can get free work on fiverr. It’s become a huge problem.

All sellers need to refuse to cancel delivered orders. Then leave that scamming buyer a one star review saying they tried to get free work and you refused, to put others who might try it with you on notice you don’t play that game.


There is something going on. I’ve been fortunate not to have a cancellation. I think the only reason they have not is because I operate on 4 rules.

  1. Be firm from the getgo
  2. DO NOT EVER question a buyers mistakes
  3. Deliver more than they expected.
  4. brush off the fact they left zero feedback. The only reason they never canceled from you, is because you gave them exactly what they wanted.

If they don’t have a valid reason to cancel, it makes it harder for them to single you out surreptitiously. As I’ve written before, dealing with phycopathic people in my daily life. The only way to curb people who are intent on harming is to be a Tiger not a sugar plum. Even the worst people see sense when your reel them in and then show your teeth. A bit brash, but this works.

I wonder what the top-management are thinking by refusing to step into hassle.

It’s just weird that Fiverr doesn’t protect sellers and left terrified sellers with the choice for cancelling order while they know that If delivered order got cancelled, Fiverr can’t earn the 20% commision. :thinking:

Good idea. At least seller who do this will be suffered by only one bad review, rather than suffered by numerous cancellation.


Yes, I believe it’s going to get worse. Often I get first contact messages, and I can tell that it will end up being a scam order, so I decline. My main articles gig is set as overbooked, so I can only send custom offers to my good clients. Anyway, in the past if someone said “it wasn’t what they had in mind” and they wanted a refund, I’d simply post the work onto my blog first, then accept the refund. If they tried to use my work after that, their client would figure it out and fire them, or so I hope, due to plagiarism.


I employ all of the above tactics and more. I over-deliver with every order, even when that means spending a whole day trying to come up with a tagline for a plumbing company in an article they’ve paid $20 for. 99% of my buyers really appreciate this.

Sadly, this year has been a bad buyer blitzkrieg and I’m blaming the monthly level lottery draws. Cancellations and late orders now affect sellers more, even when they don’t result in demotions. If I have to cancel an order, I might as well go on vacation. Sales from non-regulars just plummet.

Then when buyers do start popping their heads up again, they’re not the buyers you are used to. They either have no idea what they want, are shockingly rude, or are clever sons of snitches who play the “okay, you did it, but I don’t want to pay anymore.” game.

I think this happens as higher placed gigs with more exposure get higher class buyers. You know, people who sneeze into cotton handkerchiefs and say “bless you.” Pages 2, 3, and beyond are essentially buyer Mordor.

I keep bouncing around because of dramatic levels of impossible to avoid cancellations and immediately after an event I get deluged with Orcs slobbering incomprehensible messages into my inbox and being generally impossible to please.

That said, I do believe that there are very well organized scammers out there who communicate details concerning how to get work FOC. .


When my gigs are on top, I get the best buyers. Not one problem, no confusion, tips, orders all extras. When my gigs move down the list is when these problem buyers come along.

Then you can go into the downward spiral.

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I am in the middle of something like this right now. For a HUGE order that it took me 21 days to complete. I gave this buyer a KILLER discount (like 90% off what I would charge outside of Fiverr). Completed it… and he’s being a real !@#$%^… says he’s not happy with the delivery, but won’t tell me why. I met all of his requirements and my delivery is kick-ass. I feel really good about it… even after a 100th review when he complained. I compared and contrasted with top-ranking Google search results companies in his category and what I delivered was superior.

He refuses to tell me what he wants fixed, just sends me a lot of condescending, rude messages about how I can’t tell him anything about my work because he trusts the “experts” that do it for a living. He keeps sending links to BEGINNER level “informational” articles. I have an MBA and over 10 years of experience in this industry.

He hasn’t canceled yet, but I’m thinking he is going to and keep the entire $600 worth of copy for completely free. And I won’t see a penny and I just put in 21 days of work for this dude.

It’s a REAL SHAME that Fiverr doesn’t protect their sellers with the same ferocity that they protect their buyers.

Lesson learned. I will never EVER deliver in bulk for a customer on Fiverr again. They can buy it piece by piece and pay more. Jerks…

That was your first mistake.

Sounds like a narcissist trying to knock you down to his inner level.

You have the ability to refuse to allow him to cancel so if he tries it say no.

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Cancelling the order just to prevent the bad review is a violation of fiverr terms of services

Yep, and I owned that it was a mistake. I did a sample piece for him, though, and he gave me a good review and was great to work with. So, I then created a custom order to finish what he had remaining.

I learned my lesson. I will never do another bulk order like that through Fiverr again. It’s really annoying that Fiverr takes all the control out of the sellers’ hands and then doesn’t have their back. If this was someone ordering through my website, I would have required 50% nonrefundable down payment and 50% due at completion. Then I would at least have that 50% if they try to screw me over.

And yes, he seems to be a narcissist.

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